Monday, November 17, 2008

First bike commute...

It came down to this: I had to work this weekend and I also wanted to ride more than a few miles on the new addition to the stable (tho I've been riding at lunch on it...). Saturday was a non starter there are too many other things to do and then try and fit those 1 or 2 extra things in so Sunday seemed the logical choice, only thing is Laurie works at 11:30 so I need to be back home before then. And the job I'm doing will take around 3-4 hours to complete.

So I leave at 5am because it'll take about an hour to get to Torrey Pines from home (1:06 including a victory lap around bldg 7).

My first stop was going to be the local 'Bux since on most days they open @5, not on Sundays, so I roll on. I stop at the Coffee Bean on my way, nope no sign of life there. Hmmmm think, think, think... Oh yeah there's one across from UTC mall. yeah it'll be open by the time I get there (5:45) nope, they open at 6. Dayum, next one is back down Nobel close to UCSD, they'll be open so I head that way. I remember the Peet's on the other side of the street from the 'Bux in the other shopping center and since it's on the side I'm riding on they will get my business, if they're open that is and they are, so excellent I caffeinate and move on and ride through UCSD and on to work.

So here are my observations:

1. I need to get a better headlight.

The Mini-Maglight I velcro'd to the stem is a good idea in theory but not so in practice. It was cheap (free save for the LED replacement I installed), but it's only attribute is that of providing me with visibility to others, it does little to give me much in the way of road illumination. Maybe mounting it lower onto the forks would be better, or just a higher lumen headlight.

2. The canyons get cold, real cold.

I knew this would happen so I wore a Merino wool sweater with a white tee shirt over it as well as a skull cap to keep me ears warm and I brought a backpack along with my street wear and so I could ditch the cold gear on the ride back, which will be blazing hot today... Oh and I'm sure the backpack will suck riding home in the heat, but oh well it's handy to carry stuff in for the ride. Oh and conversely office buildings tend to throw off some heat from the HVAC system. Nice...

3. Cars are your enemy, and they're your friend sometimes.

It's nice to have car headlights light up you ride at 5am.

4. Descents...

With regards to item #1, since I couldn't really get a good idea of what lay ahead, I took it real easy down all the hills, Genesee from Clairemont Mesa Bl through the 52 interchange is a bit long and steep, with most of the speed picking up towards the end due to an increase in slope, so ass back, easy on the grip and mind those binders.

So I lit out of work @ 10:30 and take a different route home. It's flatter and has less cross traffic (read lights) and not that much more distance wise. It was hot... H... O... T... hot! But oh well I can't dwell on that minor issue, just make sure I'm hydrated and I carry on.

I would have taken more pics but I was under a time crunch and couldn't fit that in along the way. I did stop for one shot though...

All in all, not a bad commute, more cars than I thought for a early Sunday morning.

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